According to the actress, it all amounted to a moral decision and a lack of quality regarding the production of the upcoming film.
“The reason why I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters, or people telling me that I ‘couldn’t do it,’ or ‘wasn’t talented enough’ or I wasn’t ‘Black enough.’ It had absolutely nothing to do with that. The main reasons were that the production value wasn’t there, there were complications with the music rights, and I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation,” Zendaya explained in a series of Instagram videos as she revealed her attempt to contact Aaliyah’s family. “And I tried my best to reach out to the family on my own and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so therefore I felt not really morally okay with moving forward with the project. With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah, I only hope that she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let’s practice motivation and love not discrimination and hate. Alright? Muah!”